Band and Orchestra spend fun week in California touring sites

Natalie Own

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McKinley’€™s Band and Orchestra program is active from football season to commencement ceremony. The program is one of the many traditions, keeping the spirit and pride of the school by playing at events such as assemblies, Lighting of the M and concerts.

Imagine a football game without the band. Empty, right? The Band and Orchestra practice long hours during the entire week to get ready for each performance, whether at feeder schools or Awards Night.

Each performance is equally important. Along with their practices and performances, the officers organize monthly activities to give the band and orchestra students a chance to have fun and bond. The program also holds fundraisers, where the student has a chance to raise money for their own credit account to pay for instrument equipment or activities such as Band Banquet. The main reason for these fundraisers, however, is to help fund a band trip. Band trips are held every three years.

This summer, the program visited Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Day 1 At the Hollywood Walk of Fame, students walked the long sidewalk with famous people’€™s names on each star with an icon of what they did to become famous. After strolling through Grauman’€™s Chinese Theatre and Kodak Theatre, the McKinley Band and Orchestra enjoyed an exclusive buffet at Hard Rock Cafe. Following the breakfast treat, students had free time in Universal Studios.

Day 2 In a tour of University of Southern California, students saw displays of USC’s achieving sports teams and the Avengers’ suits. While touring the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles (Walt Disney Hall), students learned how the building was built to produce better sound than any other stage room or auditorium. Before attending the LA Philharmonic, the students stopped at Original Farmers Market. The night was completed when Dudames finished his last piece of Mozart. The musicians were informally dressed, as it was a casual Friday.

Day 3 Finally, something the students had been waiting for – Disneyland! From the morning, the students were allowed six hours of free time within the amusement park until the Magic Music Days workshop, where they got to experience what it was like to record Disney music like professionals.

The night ended with a live Disney show called Fantasmic€ at Rivers of America within Disneyland. Day 4 After visiting Knott’€™s Berry Farm, America’s first theme park, the McKinley Band and Orchestra went to California State University to attend the Los Angeles Pierce Symphonic Winds Performance Salute to the Red, White, and Blue€ at Plaza del Sol Auditorium. A surprise came when the last piece of music was conducted by McKinley’s very own conductor, Mr. Thomas Hesch.

The day ended with more fun at Knotts Berry Farm Day 5 There were more adventures at Disney’€™s California Adventure Park. The day was spent riding spectacular, thrilling rides and buying souvenirs and gifts for families and friends. An unforgettable evening water show called World of Color was held at Paradise Bay.

Day 6 A lot of ground was covered on this six-day trip, leaving the McKinley Band and Orchestra members with a once-in-a-lifetime memory.

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